Cheaper version of Viagra to hit the market next week in new color – Dallas News

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In January, the drugmaker will offer two new discount programs and increase its copayment card discounts. Uninsured men can get brand-name Viagra half off through an innovative online home delivery program, Pfizer Direct. Many insured patients will be able to get a month’s prescription — typically six to 10 pills, depending on plan limits — for as little as a $20 copayment.

“This is the most comprehensive pricing and marketing response I’ve seen to a generic,” said Erik Gordon, a pharmaceuticals analyst at the University of Michigan’s business school. “It’s unprecedented.”

Gordon thinks Pfizer’s reduced prices will retain some patients and attract others who buy pills, often counterfeits, from the internet.

Dr. Matthias Hofer, a urologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, said some of his insured patients who take Viagra wouldn’t want a generic. “They will be ecstatic if they can save money and get the brand product from Pfizer,” he said.

Last year, more than 12 million prescriptions for Viagra and Cialis were filled in the U.S., generating a combined $3 billion in sales, according to health data and clinical research company IQVIA. However, prescriptions have dropped more than 20 percent since 2012, as repeated price hikes put the pills out of reach for many men lacking good insurance.

According to health information analytics firm Elsevier, over just the past decade, retail prices jumped from about $10 to $62 per pill for Viagra and from $11 to $61 for Cialis. Pharmacies and other middlemen add a few dollars more per pill.

Generic Viagra, called sildenafil, will become even more affordable starting June 11, when more versions go on sale.

“Many patients already know it’s going generic and they want it,” said Aracely Pena, a medical assistant at San Diego Sexual Medicine.